So it's now May 2013, and I haven't posted since November! So much time has gone by, but when balancing work, family and a horse sometimes its hard to find time for other things.
The picture above shows Hillary on Christmas day having a roll in the menage with her young friend Lucy. Hillary is a really good 'nanny' to the youngsters; kind, but not up for any messing about! Yet here she is having a really good roll, with the little one looking on.
January brought on the buying of a 4X4. Not one I'm able to tow with, but one that will hopefully mean that I can get to the farm even in the most severe of weather. Another of my life goals achieved (horse, 4x4...) Sad I know, but that's just me. Just days after I got the car, the snow came with attitude, and I was able to try out the new motor. The lane to the farm was horrendous, full of huge drifts and yet my little 'minibeast' Jimny took it all in its stride, and got me there safely. I can't praise this car enough. I love it.
February brought about the last scan of Hillary's leg to be paid for by the insurance. After a couple of 'final' scans, I felt worried that this scan would still not tell me that she was as healed as could be, and that I'd have to find the money to fund another scan myself. However, as I often do, I told myself that if that's what she needed then that's what she'd get. I am not materialistic, and in fact the majority of my money goes on the horse; I do not particularly relish buying clothing, but believe I am in heaven when buying rugs...
Hillary's scan was brilliant. She is as healed as she can be. Her leg is as strong as a leg as damaged as hers could be. I felt so happy, so proud, so relieved. It had taken a lot of hard work, but now it would mean a lot of building up. Eight months off- there was a lot of muscle loss.
Next, came her eye check. The vet checked her eyes after dilating the pupils, to see the development of the cataracts. In short, the right eye had deteriorated quite significantly; the left, not as much. Both though, had gone through changes, and meant that vision had been lost a bit more. I felt so happy about the tendon, but for what? If she couldn't see...
That was February, and I must admit, I don't get as low now. I know lots of people don't think of animals as family members, but I really don't see my animals as anything other than family. If any of my animals is poorly then we move as quickly, and with as much love as we would for a person. My Oli, the tabby cat I rescued ten years ago is allergic to many things, and we have to 'manage' him, but how could you not?
(OK, got my boy on this blog :))
From February onwards, the main priority has been to get Hillary fitter again. I have generally been able to ride six days a week; something I wouldn't have been able to do without the great facilities I have where I am. It's tiring, but seeing her progress is worth it. We now have a regular instructor by the name of Claire, who is amazing at what she does. She is able to push us, but at the same time, is sympathetic to what we are dealing with. I still get pain from my back most times that I ride, and I have to understand that as much as I have issues, so does Hillary. For Hillary, while she is mostly the calm, sensible ride she has always been, she has seemed to become more spooky. I have to make sure that I am ready to deal with this, and that my balance and position has to be in the best place to ride it out. I am so much better in my confidence, however, I am finding that sometimes it is manifesting itself in other ways. For example, I feel that I am always upsetting/annoying people. Whereas most people are able to think rationally about this, I am not, but I feel that this is just another thing to work on; another step to making me the person I want to be.
Finally, in what has seen a whistle-stop tour of the first part of 2013, I want to talk about now. On the 19th May, Hillary and I did her first show since Aug 2011 (only our 2nd show together).
This picture says it all. We came 4th but we got brilliant comments from the judge. I loved having her in a show- she looked amazing and I felt so proud of her. The next show is in July, and I have every plan to be there.
I also have every plan to do a dressage test through interdressage this summer. It doesnt matter to me what score we get- the thing that matters is that we do our best and have fun.
Through everything we have been through, I feel we have become stronger, and now I hope that we are able to enjoy the things that 2013 brings.
I have nothing but pride in my heart for my little girl, for she brings back the little girl in me.